Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands

The Loop

The LPGA is modernizing what qualifies as appropriate golf apparel. It's time for everyone else to catch up.

March 02, 2017

Michelle Wie wore an outfit during the first round of the LPGA's HBSC Women’s Champions event that would get women in trouble at the vast majority of private golf courses.

Here’s the outfit:

michelle wie

Andrew Redington

Though the LPGA's dress code says 'no workout clothes,' this outfit is certainly still athletic. It's something you’d see tennis players wearing, and runners, gym-goers, and yoga-class-takers would all be fans of that top. But it’s not what we’ve historically thought of as a women’s golf outfit. The skirt is pretty short, and the top is sleeveless, racerback, and collarless.

But maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

Long skirts can be annoying in how they move when you swing. Short skirts just make more sense from a mobility standpoint.

The best argument I can see against the top would be sun protection. Collars on golf shirts do a lot to keep the back of your neck safe from the sun beating down on it all round. But if you’re going to apply sunscreen in the absence of a collar, then go nuts. Wear a collarless shirt.

And if you’re in Singapore like Wie is, playing in high humidity and 90-degree heat, anything that’s going to keep you cooler is a good thing, which is likely why she opted for a tank top.

Not to pull the ‘as a woman’ card, but as a woman, I’ve showed up to more than a few golf courses in shorts that hit mid-thigh, just to be sent over to the pro shop to purchase knee-length shorts. If the best players in the world can play in the type of athletic apparel Wie's wearing, why can’t the rest of the female golfing population have the option, too?

When it comes to modernizing what’s acceptable to wear while playing golf, the LPGA is moving at a faster pace than the rest of the golfing world. And we should start catching up.